Every year, we are strongly encouraged to go to the doctor. They check our weight, height, blood pressure, heart beat, etc. They make sure our vital bodily functions are working as they should.
At what point on this earth did we forget that the brain was a vital organ?
In school, we're required to take physical education. We sprint from one side of the gymnasium to the other, and somehow, that's making us a more well-rounded kid?
What about mental health education?
Let me put it in a way most of us can understand:
Imagine, in another universe, we were never taught how the stomach is supposed to work. So, when you get this foreign feeling in your stomach, you panic.
No one has ever prepared you for this feeling before. You have no idea that everyone experiences them, because no one has ever talked about it. And because no one has ever talked about it, everyone thinks they're the only one whose ever had a stomach ache.
So, you continue to do things that make your stomach feel worse, instead of learning the reason behind the pain.
Now, let's go back to our current universe. Yes, it's true that parents and teachers talk often with young children about parts of the body and how they work.
But, for some strange reason, they rarely mention this most important organ – the brain.
And the brain is not something one can physically observe, so without any knowledge of what goes on in our heads, we're just left to guess.
What we don't know scares us. And what scares us, we rarely share with others. If we all feel scared and alone, why not feel this way together?
We need to continue normalizing therapy. There are so many people in this world who are silently suffering.
They are either scared to go to therapy because of how it'll make them look, or they are afraid that what they are feeling is so abnormal that even a professional would judge them.
Believe me, I know exactly how it feels. Yes it's scary and yes there are so many unknowns, but the scariest part of therapy isn’t the therapy, itself. It’s realizing how much time we spent suffering, instead of getting to therapy sooner.
And it's not just for those who have anxiety or mental health disorders. I believe it's crucial EVERYONE – even if you're not currently struggling with your mental health.
Therapy can help you get to know yourself a bit better. It can help you solve problems, deal with unexpected changes in life, and to better communicate with the people you love.
If we have annual physicals, shouldn't we have annual mentals too?